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OData Support is an Improved Feature for SharePoint 2013 for Business Connectivity Services (BCS)

With the new Business Connectivity Services (BCS) component behind Office, and SharePoint 2013, better support is available for services running the Open Data (OData) web Protocol. This new BCS component complements the Office, and SharePoint 2013 App Model, both of which, in turn, are very deeply based on web development tools — HTML and JavaScript.

The impact of better support for OData in SharePoint 2013 as the result of a new, and improved BCS feature is substantial. Organizations with a major commitment to Oracle®, SAP, or IBM® databases have a much better chance of successfully pulling this external data into SharePoint 2013, where it can be added to data analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) efforts.

A very useful, short description of how the OData Protocol can be used is provided in a document in the MSDN library titled Using OData sources with Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2013: “The Open Data protocol (OData) lets you access a data source, such as a database, by browsing to a specially constructed URL. This allows for a simplified approach for connecting to and working with data sources that are hosted within an organization.”

Of course a big additional benefit of opting for messaging services built on the OData Protocol is the opportunity it lends to organizations to merely use web browsers as the preferred means of consuming the data. In turn, the development skills required to build the browser systems to extract the value from the OData Protocol for SharePoint 2013 BCS are very much a matter of expertise with HTML and JavaScript — two languages widely used and generally available.

In our coming online course, Working with External Data‚Äč in SharePoint 2013 using BCS and Workflows – On premises and Online, Fabian Williams will teach registered attendees about working with BCS for SharePoint 2013 with either Visual Studio or OData.

Any reader visiting the page on our site promoting this class will note the course includes a “Publicly Available OData Endpoint for Training examples for a week”. So it should be clear the class will provide a lot of hands on exposure to actually working with the OData Protocol.

Ira Michael Blonder

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